Pray for the fellowship of Ebenezer Lumley and the family of Rev.Angel Ama-Lamin who died recently. Peter had the privilege to pray for him whilst in Sierra Leone.
Pray for the new clinic which has been established at The Theological College at Jui. This clinic will serve the local community. Pray especially for the little girl with third degree burns to her leg.
Pray for the patients and staff at the hospital at Koidu. Peter and Janet were given the opportunity to visit and pray for individuals, including Muslims. They also met Victoria a three year old who had accidentally been pushed backwards into boiling water. Her chance of survival is minimal but with prayer and God’s intervention a miracle is possible.
Sierra Leone is heading for elections early next year and the process has started with voter registration. Pray against any form of violence approach that electoral process and for God to lead the people of this country to vote for the right person.
Pray for wisdom for Bishop Theophilus as he makes important decisions. Pray also for Magnus, Daniel and Alex as they advise and support the Bishop.
Thank God for the wonderful work that is happening at Bethesda. Pray for Allusine, Musa and Issa as they have been reunited to their family but desire to be back at Bethesda. Thank God for Aminata and Sallie and pray that He will heal Sallie from her discomfort.
Thank God for the stoic teachers in our schools; against all odds they continue to give their best. Also pray for our pastors; for safety in travel, protection against illness and a fresh vitality in their ministry.
Zephaniah starts his prophecy telling us his family background (1:1); he is a fourth-generation descendant of King Hezekiah (King of Judah from 715-686BC). Does this pedigree matter to you? Why or why not?
His opening words of prophecy tells of a terrible judgment to come: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth” (1:2). It closes on the “day of the Lord” when God “will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (1:18). This just might be the harshest, most universal judgment announcement in the Bible. How does this make you feel? How does this make you feel about God?
God is clearly a little upset with Judah. What has Judah done wrong? (see 1:4-6)
Why is this book relevant to Christians today? On Sunday we talked through a lot of application for us today – what did that include?
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
Are these feasts in Leviticus 23 really relevant to us today? If so how, and why don’t we celebrate them within the modern church?
As a group discuss each of the first three feasts; how are they a reminder of past things and in which ways do they speak of things that were to come.
In the sermon we looked at the dates of Passover, preparation, selecting the sacrifice etc. and how the prophecies of Daniel 9, Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9, Luke 11:29 form part of the picture. Discuss how all of this fits together in God’s plan, how tradition has confused things and what this might teach us about the importance of studying the whole of scripture.
Please use the points below to guide you in a time of prayer.
This term’s prayer pointers:
Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.
So often in our Christian lives we spend inordinate amounts of time talking about prayer, wanting to seek the Lord and do His will; which I believe are great sentiments, but as we approach the end of the year I’m drawn back to some words we used at the start of our year in our covenant service, words which were borrowed from a great puritan called Richard Alleine:
I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly give all things to you. Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. This my covenant with you my God, made here on earth, let it be confirmed in heaven. Amen
Why not take that prayer again, study it, meditate on it, discuss it and consider: as individuals, and as Christ’s Church, have we yet made this prayer our own? How can we encourage one another, and what is the Lord asking of us as individuals walking in covenant with Him? If studying in a group: spend a good time in prayer seeking the Lord for each other and the wider Church. When studying alone: also, of course, pray through the issues that arise in your heart.
Missed the sermon? Never mind, you can pick it up here: GO!
Read Matthew 28: 11-20
In the first 5 verses discuss how each of the characters mentioned responded to the resurrection, i.e., what did they do, what did they say and why?
In the sermon those first 5 verses were described as what (in comparison with the last 5). Discuss as a group why it is important:
to be aware of what the enemy wants;
understand the enemies tactics;
to fully understand the enemy is defeated?
Some doubted… discuss.
Jesus delivers his “commission” sandwiched between a statement (verse 18) and another encouraging instruction (verse 20b). discuss what difference that should make to us.
Talk through the instruction to Go and… (verses 19 and 20a), considering as you go: what is a disciple, how do you make disciples, what is baptism and why is it important? Why in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Put yourself in the place of the people in verses 13-24. What are they doing, thinking and feeling? Why does Jesus ask the two what they are discussing (verse 17) and “what things” had been going on lately (verse 19)?
Sum up Cleopas and the other disciple’s answers? What do you make of their understanding of who Jesus is?
Look at verses 25-27. Is Jesus being hard on the disciples? Why or why not? What is he particularly concerned about? Why do you think it was “necessary”for the Messiah to “suffer these things and then enter into his glory”?
Jesus showed them the passages all through the Bible that were about Him. What are some of these passages that he might have mentioned? Here are some to get you started(Genesis 3:15; Numbers 21:6-9 [cf. John 3:14-15]; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalms 22; 16:8-11; 118:22-23; Isaiah 11:1-7; 53:1-6; 61:1 [with Luke 4:18-22]; Daniel 7:13-14 [cf. Matthew 26:64].), but there are many more, try and find as many as you can.
What do you think it means that their hearts “burned within them” when Jesus explained the Scriptures to them (verse 32)? Have you ever experienced this as you’ve read your bible?
What has changed about the disciples understanding about Jesus, and what is the effect?